Do you know Jenn Cuisine? If not, you better bookmark this gluten-free blogger. Once you start reading her blog your senses will trick you into an addiction – your eyes will crave her imagery and your taste buds will have you clamoring for her lovely dishes.
For quite a while now I have been lured in by her absolutely astounding photography. Her gallery on Foodgawker speaks volumes of her talent. Her photos seem perfect, professional, powerful. And her recipes? Well they seem to match the level of her photographs.
Recently, Jenn started an amazing series on her blog: Gluten Free Substitutions with Jenn Cuisine.
She is currently in week ten of the fifteen week series, this week’s installment covering the basics of gluten-free pizza doughs. She has covered everything from easy one ingredient substitutions, to flours and binding agents, from home-made pastas and pie crusts, to how to handle your flops, and everything else in-between. These weekly posts will give you the confidence in your gluten-free kitchen to take you beyond what you thought you were capable of. For newbies and veterans alike, there is something to learn from each week.
With all this being said, I suppose you may have guessed by now that it is Jenn that I decided to adopt for this month’s Adopt a Gluten-Free Blogger Round-up being hosted by Sea, of Book of Yum. Sea is the original creator of this wonderful event that has turned into an amazing way to bring the gluten-free blogging community together.
I had a difficult time choosing a recipe since Jenn has so many tempting choices on her blog. Considering that I have not been in too much of a baking mode as of late (I need the temps to dip below 90 first), I decided to go with a few of her savory fall dishes.
I have been craving butternut squash lately, and as luck would have it, Jenn happened to have a two-for-one recipe utilizing this lovely winter squash.
First up was her Buttery Pan Fried Butternut Squash. Roasted butternut squash, pan fried with cannellini beans in a LOT of butter with sage, tarragon, and nutmeg. How could you go wrong? The combination of flavors along with the rich buttery finish, was a perfect accompaniment to the main dish of the evening (more on that in a moment). The best part of this pan-fried goodness, however, was the fact that both of my kids ate every bite of it without being asked twice. To me, that is often what makes or breaks a recipe in this house. This one will be made again, especially because I get an entire second meal out of it the next day.
Enter the two-for-one part of the recipe. Jenn originally loved this recipe so much that she decided to spice it up the next night, turning it into Creamy Butternut and Pumpkin Soup. She took the leftovers, pureed them with some pumpkin puree and broth, a bit of cream, and she had dinner for the next night. And to tell you the truth, I think that my kids loved it even more on night two. I had made Shauna and Danny Ahern’s fabulous bread recipe from their new cookbook, The Gluten Free Girl and the Chef: A Love Story with 100 Tempting Recipes (on sale now), and the kids were in heaven dunking their hunks of bread into this soup (as were my husband and I – though the true tests of recipes in my house are done by my pint-sized reviewers). The flavors of this were so enticing. And guess what? We even closed our eyes and could almost pretend that it was cold and fall-like outside while we were eating this (instead of the near triple digits that it really was).
And finally, the main event. On the night that I made version one of the squash, I also made Jenn’s Apple and Fig Pork Loin Roast and paired it with my home-made applesauce. The only alterations that I made was that I used a larger roast than the original recipe called for, I laid slices of organic applewood bacon over it (because I always roast my pork that way), and I used dried figs instead of fresh because we are on the tail end of the fig season here and my stores did not have any fresh figs. On that note, I must say that this recipe earned the highest of compliments from all, but particularly my Father-In-Law. He is NOT a fig fan. He does not like fig newtons or anything that may hint of figs. So unbeknownst to me, this man, who typically is not picky in any way, was slightly fearful of what this meal held in store for him. Imagine my surprise when he said, “Kim, I was originally not sure of how this meal was going to taste since I dislike figs so much. But this was absolutely EXCELLENT!!”
Wow! Yes. This recipe converted a fig-hater into a total believer of the unique little fruit. That says a lot. Everyone at the table gave this meal a resounding two thumbs up, including my boys who again ate every bite on their plate. What was even better was that the few slices of leftovers were perfect for sandwiches for myself and the kids the next day. And the caramelized apples and figs that roasted in the juices of the pork added a perfect sweetness as a spread on those sandwiches. I would make that roast again and again simply for the fabulous sandwiches that resulted from it the next day!
I had a blast this month with my adoption of Jenn and I officially claim this a total success! If you have not already done so, go check out her blog and leave a comment here about what you think of her beautiful imagery!
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